Someone once asked me if weight loss was mainly a physical issue or an emotional issue. This is how I answered her question. I said:
In the ideal world, weight loss is mainly about taking in less calories than you burn. However, I’ve haven’t met too many people who don’t have a lot of emotional feelings surrounding food. So in my humble opinion, successful weight loss often requires us to conquer the emotions while at the same time working on improving what and how we eat.
Agree or disagree?
For many of us, the experiences we have had in the past influence our reactions to food. I know it has for me. Without going into too many details, there were some situations that happened during my childhood that were less than ideal. I learned at a young age that food didn’t talk back to me, didn’t judge me, and seemed to make me feel better. So I indulged whenever I could, and overindulged the older I got.
And I gained massive amounts of weight as a result. I gained 150 pounds in about 8 years.
Healing the past isn’t easy, and often requires the assistance of a professional, or perhaps a trusted confidante. A lot of people ask me if I sought counseling during my obese years to help me on the right path and I didn’t. Not that I think anything is wrong with counseling, (because I do NOT) but quite frankly, it wasn’t something we could afford at the time had I wanted to avail myself of it.
So how did I work through some of those complicated issues that helped me gain weight?
- I had to be 100% honest with myself that there were some issues in the first place, and worth through my feelings surround them.
- I had to allow myself experience the emotions that were associated with the emotions
- I learned that just because I knew what the emotions were, I still needed to learn not to eat based on those emotions.
- When I messed up I gave myself a break, and didn’t beat myself up.
- I finally understood it wasn’t a quick fix. Losing weight wasn’t going to change the past, but I could heal and move past the past while at the same time losing weight.
I wanted to say that I haven’t “healed” the past completely, but rather I’ve worked through it and been able to acknowledge it without allowing the past to rule my emotions and unduly influence my choices.
What do you think? Is healing and/or acknowledging past hurts a part of the weight loss journey for some people? Diane
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